Saturday, November 20, 2010

What "The Social Network" have to do with us?

Looks familiar? The movie The Social Network, the massive social networking site Facebook gets the big-screen treatment with this Columbia Pictures production scripted by The West Wing's Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher ("The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"). The film focuses on Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg's (Jesse Eisenberg) ladder to the top after creating one of the biggest Internet sensations. Justin Timberlake co-stars as Napster co-creator Sean Parker, with Andrew Garfield filling the role of ousted Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

What does this movie relates to us? It relates about our public private lives.
In Malaysia, some topics, childbirth included, are still socially baulked at but if you log onto any of the social networks, you will see that Malaysians are no passive wallflowers. From political views and religious beliefs to who they are dating and what they had for lunch, many Malaysian are eager to share their personal information. Malaysians, it revealed, spent the most time--nine hours weekly on social networking sites compared with other nationals worldwide.

Just have a look at your own Facebook homepage, look at how some people post, you will get worried, "don't they realise that everyone can read this?"

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg quoted saying. "People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. The social norm of the past generation have evolved rapidly overtime, now it's the new norm.

The revolution of Social Media- "NEW NORM"
Acts of divulging excessive personal information on the internet or "over-sharing" as it is defined by Webster's New World Dictionary -is hardly a new phenomenon. Everyone wants to be out there on the internet. The new cyber-social behaviour works on the conceit that everyone in a person's social circle not only wants to know, but needs to know, what the person is having for lunch. But really, do people need to know in detail what you are doing every minute of the day and where? 

The implications of social network to us? Is there any?
Social network is creating a thin line between the personal and public and coupled with the cultural and global shift, people are struggling to find the balance. Compare the past generation and now, people used to have an anonymous or a secret identity online to post explicit stuff about themselves. Now everyone keeps their real identity when they go online but they still post their secrets or intimate and explicit information about themselves online.

It's normal for a person to want to share his or her personal information with others. Exposing oneself and sharing personal details are rooted in basic psychological needs. However, if these needs are not met within family and warm blooded relationships, then it will begin in cyberspace where it is pretty cold but gives a false hope of warmth. From an observation, oversharing may also be a trend because we are living in a world where "people want friends and don't have any". Either they are stuck behind their PCs at work or they spend so many hours in the office and behind a screen that being part of social networks is important. So, they begin to share more and more about themselves until they expose themselves without realizing it or understanding the consequences.

It's important to know your friends on Facebook, you need to ask yourself who they are. Either you are befriending people whom you don't know or those whom you should not be friends with. Or it just means your real life sucks, you have to improve your social skills. With the right knowledge, people can control their tendencies to overshare.

Think twice when you want to post something in the future, remember when you post anything on the internet, it will be available basically to the whole world.


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